Don’t like Modern Australia…. what would you give up then..

A huge issue I have with the conservative politics is the ” we want things like they were” argument. An argument, that came to the fore again with Jim Wallace stating his 96 year old father didn’t recognise Modern Australia, and the implication that this was bad.

Which part is bad, is the point of conjecture. A point that is never applied evenly or fairly, with examples always singled out around policy areasthat fit the agenda of the person making the statement. From Immigration Policy, Sexual Equality, Gay Rights and even Employment, everything was always better back in the day. Sometimes that day precedes before the people making these statements were even born.

Post WWI in Australia was a place that women had only recently got the vote, couldn’t run for Parliament and were a minority in most work places. ABC radio was not to come around until 1923. Two thirds of thecountries income came from wheat and wool only. And Kingsford Smith would not finished his first flying circuit of Australia till 1927. Modern medical treatments still hadn’t been invented yet, and the great depression still hadn’t come. Is this the time that people are harking for?

Perhaps the post WWII Australia is what people would like a country thatbecame founded on “Populate or Perish” (*Well if you are white that is o.k). ABC Radio was a major force, but it would 11 years afterthe war before we got ABC TV, so perhaps just radio and newspapers was allthe information that we needed. Aboriginals didn’t become citizens of Australia until 1949, and didn’t get the right to vote inQLD and WA until 1962. And finally the world now had Penicillin, which hadjust kicked off in 1944 to mass manufacturing, so at least a simple infection wouldn’t kill you. Is this the time people want back.

Rushing forward into the post Vietnam era, we have TV ( and colour is coming soon), modern suburbs and pretty decent health care. Of course, we didn’t have medicare, equal pay for women is still (and still is) a long way off, but at least now universities were free for most. So perhaps this is the period that people are harking back for.

Now of course, we have the internet, instant global communications, cheap and reliable interstate and international airtravel, health care that even 20 years ago would have been considered miraculous with PET/MRI scans finding diseases that were untreatable not that long ago. Of course we can’t treat lung cancer or asbestosis to 100% but society has taken stepsto cut these and simailar issues out.

Our biggest export is now our dirt, but we do have a large number of Nobel Prizes to our name for many things and we do as a country lead the worldin a number of aspects when it comes to technology. Our biggest trade partners are also countries that were excluded by the White Australia Policy, China, Japan, South Korea.

So which do we give up. To get where we are today is a journey made of all of these parts. Modern birth control and education has liberated women to the highest roles in the land and yet we need to go back because people don’t recognise the country.

I don’t like some parts of modern Australia, but I do like health care, science, technology and all the benefits that they have brought. Perhaps those harking back for “simpler” times could list all the things they are willing to give up, I think the list would be pretty short.

One Response to “Don’t like Modern Australia…. what would you give up then..”

  1. All I know is that I was born and raised here, I love the nature of the place but I don’t like the society. I wish I could leave but the place where I would go just does not exist… sadly.

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